Capstone Mining Corp. (“Capstone” or the “Company”) (TSX:CS) today announced that it has received final approvals from the US Forest Service for a new mine plan of operations (the “Plan”) for the Pinto Valley Mine (“Pinto Valley”). The Plan, approved by the Tonto National Forest (“TNF”), extends Pinto Valley’s life of mine to the year 2039. The mine life extension is expected to produce 2.5 billion pounds of copper and will preserve approximately 700 jobs in Arizona’s Gila County, contributing to the area’s economic activities over the next two decades.
TNF’s approval process included a detailed evaluation of technical data provided by Pinto Valley Mining Corp. and a stakeholder consultation process. The plan allows for Pinto Valley’s continued operation and includes additional environmental controls, as well as monitoring and mitigation measures to address potential environmental impacts from the mine’s operations.
Darren Pylot, Capstone’s President & CEO commented, “I would like to congratulate our Pinto Valley team on this significant permitting achievement which will translate into continued benefits for the community of Globe-Miami for decades to come. We recently completed a $31 million optimization project which has increased productivity, decreased costs, and built a more resilient operation.”
“This is truly a historic day for Capstone Mining and our flagship Pinto Valley Mine”, said Brad Mercer, SVP & COO. Mr. Mercer added, “This approval took more than 5 years to obtain and we thank the US Forest Service employees who helped keep this project on track.”
ABOUT CAPSTONE MINING CORP.
Capstone Mining Corp. is a Canadian base metals mining company, focused on copper. We are committed to the responsible development of our assets and the environments in which we operate. Our two producing mines are the Pinto Valley copper mine located in Arizona, US and the Cozamin copper-silver mine in Zacatecas State, Mexico. In addition, Capstone owns 100% of Santo Domingo, a large scale, fully permitted, copper-iron-gold project in Region III, Chile, as well as a portfolio of exploration properties. Capstone's strategy is to focus on the optimization of operations and assets in politically stable, mining-friendly regions, centred in the Americas. Our headquarters are in Vancouver, Canada and we are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol CS.
Further information is available at www.capstonemining.com.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This document may contain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document and the Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required under applicable securities legislation.
Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect our expectations or beliefs regarding future events and the impacts of the ongoing and evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to statements with respect to expected production at Pinto Valley from extension and the preservation of jobs in Arizona’s Gila County, the estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, the expected timing, operations and success of the underground paste backfill system study and tailings filtration project at Cozamin, the outcome and timing of the PV4 study, the timing and success of our use of the Jetti Technology, the successful execution of a port services agreement with Puerto Ventanas and/or rail agreement with Sigdo Kopper’s rail business, the success of our strategic process for the Santo Domingo project, the expected reduction in capital requirements for the Santo Domingo project, the timing and success of the Cobalt Study for Santo Domingo, the success of the PV3 Optimization project, the realization of Mineral Reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production and capital expenditures and reclamation, the success of our mining operations, the success of mineral exploration, the estimations for potential quantities and grade of inferred resources and exploration targets, Capstone’s ability to fund future exploration activities, Capstone’s ability to finance the Santo Domingo project, Capstone's ability to find a strategic partner, environmental risks, unanticipated reclamation expenses and title disputes. The potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and operations are unknown at this time, including Capstone’s ability to manage challenges and restrictions arising from COVID-19 in the communities in which Capstone operates and our ability to continue to safely operate and to safely return our business to normal operations. The impact of COVID-19 to Capstone is dependent on a number of factors outside of our control and knowledge, including the effectiveness of the measures taken by public health and governmental authorities to combat the spread of the disease, global economic uncertainties and outlook due to the disease, and the evolving restrictions relating to mining activities and to travel in certain jurisdictions in which we operate.
In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “anticipates”, “approximately”, “believes”, “budget”, “estimates”, expects”, “forecasts”, “guidance”, intends”, “plans”, “scheduled”, “target”, or variations of such words and phrases, or statements that certain actions, events or results “be achieved”, “could”, “may”, “might”, “occur”, “should”, “will be taken” or “would” or the negative of these terms or comparable terminology. In this document certain forward-looking statements are identified by words including “anticipated”, “expected”, “guidance” and “plan”. By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, amongst others, risks related to inherent hazards associated with mining operations and closure of mining projects, future prices of copper and other metals, compliance with financial covenants, surety bonding, our ability to raise capital, Capstone’s ability to acquire properties for growth, counterparty risks associated with sales of our metals, use of financial derivative instruments and associated counterparty risks, foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, market access restrictions or tariffs, changes in general economic conditions, availability of water, accuracy of Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimates, operating in foreign jurisdictions with risk of changes to governmental regulation, compliance with governmental regulations, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, reliance on approvals, licenses and permits from governmental authorities and potential legal challenges to permit applications, contractual risks including but not limited to, our ability to meet the completion test requirements under the Cozamin Silver Stream Agreement with Wheaton Precious Metals, our ability to meet certain closing conditions under the Santo Domingo Gold Stream Agreement with Wheaton Precious Metals, acting as Indemnitor for Minto Exploration Ltd.’s surety bond obligations post divestiture, impact of climate change and changes to climatic conditions at our Pinto Valley and Cozamin operations and Santo Domingo project, changes in regulatory requirements and policy related to climate change and greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions, land reclamation and mine closure obligations, risks relating to widespread epidemics or pandemic outbreak including the COVID-19 pandemic; the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce, suppliers and other essential resources and what effect those impacts, if they occur, would have on our business, including our ability to access goods and supplies, the ability to transport our products and impacts on employee productivity, the risks in connection with the operations, cash flow and results of Capstone relating to the unknown duration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, uncertainties and risks related to the potential development of the Santo Domingo project, increased operating and capital costs, increased cost of reclamation, challenges to title to our mineral properties, increased taxes in jurisdictions the Company operates or is subject to tax, changes in tax regimes we are subject to and any changes in law or interpretation of law may be difficult to react to in an efficient manner, maintaining ongoing social license to operate, dependence on key management personnel, potential conflicts of interest involving our directors and officers, corruption and bribery, limitations inherent in our insurance coverage, labour relations, increasing energy prices, competition in the mining industry including but not limited to competition for skilled labour, risks associated with joint venture partners, our ability to integrate new acquisitions and new technology into our operations, cybersecurity threats, legal proceedings, the volatility of the price of the Common Shares, the uncertainty of maintaining a liquid trading market for the Common Shares, risks related to dilution to existing shareholders if stock options or other convertible securities are exercised, the history of Capstone with respect to not paying dividends and anticipation of not paying dividends in the foreseeable future, and sales of Common Shares by existing shareholders can reduce trading prices, and other risks of the mining industry as well as those factors detailed from time to time in the Company’s interim and annual financial statements and MD&A of those statements and Annual Information Form, all of which are filed and available for review under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those described in our forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause our results, performance or achievements not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that our forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as our actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements.
CAUTIONARY NOTE TO UNITED STATES INVESTORS REGARDING PRESENTATION OF MINERAL RESERVE AND MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATES
As a British Columbia corporation and a “reporting issuer” under Canadian securities laws, we are required to provide disclosure regarding our mineral properties in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”). NI 43-101 is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators that establishes standards for all public disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects. In accordance with NI 43-101, we use the terms mineral reserves and resources as they are defined in accordance with the CIM Definition Standards on mineral reserves and resources (the “CIM Definition Standards”) adopted by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. In particular, the terms “mineral reserve”, “proven mineral reserve”, “probable mineral reserve”, “mineral resource”, “measured mineral resource”, “indicated mineral resource” and “inferred mineral resource” used in this news release and the documents incorporated by reference herein and therein, are Canadian mining terms defined in accordance with CIM Definition Standards. These definitions differ from the definitions in the disclosure requirements promulgated by the SEC. Accordingly, information contained in this news release and the documents incorporated by reference herein may not be comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies reporting pursuant to SEC disclosure requirements.
United States investors are also cautioned that while the SEC will now recognize “measured mineral resources”, “indicated mineral resources” and “inferred mineral resources”, investors should not assume that any part or all of the mineralization in these categories will ever be converted into a higher category of mineral resources or into mineral reserves. Mineralization described using these terms has a greater amount of uncertainty as to their existence and feasibility than mineralization that has been characterized as reserves. Accordingly, investors are cautioned not to assume that any “measured mineral resources”, “indicated mineral resources”, or “inferred mineral resources” that we report are or will be economically or legally mineable. Further, “inferred resources” have a greater amount of uncertainty as to their existence and as to whether they can be mined legally or economically. Therefore, United States investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of the inferred resources exist. In accordance with Canadian rules, estimates of “inferred mineral resources” cannot form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies, except in limited circumstances where permitted under NI 43-101.
NATIONAL INSTRUMENT 43-101 COMPLIANCE
Unless otherwise indicated, Capstone has prepared the technical information in this news release (“Technical Information”) based on information contained in the technical reports, Annual Information Form and news releases (collectively the “Disclosure Documents”) available under Capstone Mining Corp.’s company profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Each Disclosure Document was prepared by or under the supervision of a qualified person (a “Qualified Person”) as defined in National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects of the Canadian Securities Administrators (“NI 43-101”). Readers are encouraged to review the full text of the Disclosure Documents which qualifies the Technical Information. Readers are advised that Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The Disclosure Documents are each intended to be read as a whole, and sections should not be read or relied upon out of context. The Technical Information is subject to the assumptions and qualifications contained in the Disclosure Documents.
Disclosure Documents include the National Instrument 43-101 compliant technical reports titled "NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Cozamin Mine, Zacatecas, Mexico" effective October 23, 2020, “Pinto Valley Mine Life Extension – Phase 3 (PV3) Pre-Feasibility Study” effective January 1, 2016 and “Santo Domingo Project, Region III, Chile, NI 43-101 Technical Report” effective February 19, 2020.
The disclosure of Scientific and Technical Information in this news release was reviewed and approved by Brad Mercer, P. Geol., Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (technical information related to mineral exploration activities and to Mineral Resources at Cozamin), Clay Craig, P.Eng, Manager, Mining & Evaluations (technical information related to Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources at Pinto Valley), Tucker Jensen, Superintendent Mine Operations, P.Eng (technical information related to Mineral Reserves at Cozamin) and Albert Garcia III, PE, Vice President, Projects (technical information related to project updates at Santo Domingo) all Qualified Persons under NI 43-101.